Metropolitan 2016Read more about Metropolitan 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Metropolitan Police Service. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.
The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime: not yet graded.
The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is: good.
The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is: good.
The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below. My overall assessment of Metropolitan Police Service’s performance will be published in spring 2017.
Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
PEEL assessments are updated throughout the year, as the results of the different inspections and data collections become available. The graded judgments for effectiveness will be published in March 2017. See last year’s assessment of the force’s effectiveness.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
The Metropolitan Police Service has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. It analyses demand for its services, including emerging and hidden crime. It also seeks the public’s views on its services. The force has plans to improve its information and communications technology (ICT) and has workable plans to meet future savings requirements. However, it could do more to manage demand.
The Metropolitan Police Service is good at understanding its current and likely future demand. The force analyses the demand for its services and works with other agencies to get a broader picture of what causes demand, and to understand how to reduce inefficient practices. It has worked on understanding emerging demand and hidden crime and has a wide variety of initiatives to help prevent crime. The force is using various ways to find out what the public expects.
The Metropolitan Police Service is also good at planning for demand in the future. The force’s medium-term financial strategy sets out its savings targets until 2020.
It has detailed plans to oversee progress. It has ambitious plans for its future use of ICT, which it believes will help other change programmes succeed, but this is dependant on the force providing sufficient training; this had not been fully planned at the time of our inspection.
The force’s financial plans appear to be realistic and they propose changes in areas such as the force’s estate, technology and the way local policing is organised to achieve efficiencies for reinvestment. The force is short of business analysts and project managers with experience of working on large-scale change programmes, including carrying out benefits identification and review. It is now working with a single strategic partner; the skills and knowledge obtained should be transferred back to the force.
However, the Metropolitan Police Service requires improvement in how well it uses it resources to manage current demand. The force met most of the priorities set in the Mayor of London’s police and crime plan 2013−16, and has started to increase resources to protect vulnerable people. The force allocates resources to meet demand on a monthly basis using using a risk assessment tool, called THRIVE, and reviews them daily to respond to changes in demand. The force responds to calls to service based on THRIVE, but it could do more to manage demand, and to assess when an officer first attends a call whether a crime is capable of being solved (known as ‘solvability’).
The force has identified where it does not have the skills it needs in its workforce, and invested to fill those gaps. Some have been filled, but some remain in investigation and analysts with experience of identifying and reviewing programme benefits (known as business analysts). The force has not prioritised collaboration, but it does work with other agencies to manage demand effectively. It plans greater collaboration with blue-light emergency services. A lack of understanding of the impact and benefits of ICT change projects together with a lack of review and rigorous oversight has led to inefficiencies; the force has learned lessons from previous mistakes and change projects will now be subject to professional project management before being started.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
The Metropolitan Police Service has been assessed as good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our findings this year are consistent with last year’s findings, in which we judged the force to be good in respect of legitimacy. The force works hard to ensure it treats all of the people it serves, and its workforce, with fairness and respect, but it needs to improve the way it ensures its workforce is behaving ethically and lawfully.
The Metropolitan Police Service is working hard to ensure it treats all of the people it serves with fairness and respect. It understands the importance of this and how it affects public confidence in the force. The force has an engagement strategy and seeks feedback from the public, regularly reviewing results from the public attitude survey. Borough confidence plans help guide local community engagement activity, but not all officers we spoke with were aware of their local plan, and some survey results suggest more needs to be done.
The force requires improvement in ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. New recruits receive training based on the force’s values, ethics and professionalism and the workforce is aware of the Code of Ethics and the force’s values. The force has a vetting policy and procedure, but it carries out re-vetting based on business needs, which is not in line with the national policy. It clarifies and reinforces acceptable behaviour, and officers and staff are confident about reporting concerns to their supervisor. The force provides its workforce with awareness training about inappropriate relationships. However, the force recognises the abuse of authority for sexual gain as serious misconduct, as opposed to serious corruption, and does not have a counter-corruption strategic risk assessment or a control strategy. Further, the force does not actively seek intelligence on corrupt activities.
The Metropolitan Police Service is good in how it treats its workforce with fairness and respect. It uses a range of methods to identify and understand the areas affecting workforce perceptions of fair and respectful treatment. The force’s review of its performance appraisal process reflected the workforce’s dissatisfaction with it and they have taken steps to improve it. The force has invested in wellbeing and comprehensive guidance is available on the force intranet. Supervisors receive training and told us that they are clear about their wellbeing responsibilities. However, inconsistency among supervisors in providing support to those who need it remains a problem for the force. The force is intent on improving wellbeing provision so it is more consistently applied.
How well has the force performed in our other inspections?
In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMIC carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); others are joint inspections.
Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.
Police leadership is crucial in enabling a force to be effective, efficient and legitimate. This inspection focused on how a force understands, develops and displays leadership through its organisational development.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has set out clearly what it expects from its leaders at all ranks and grades. The MPS works with some of its workforce to develop its leadership principles and publicises these widely. However, the workforce still does not understand fully what these leadership expectations mean for them in practice. The MPS is working to address this by running a series of leadership events for its workforce, at which these leadership expectations are explored and clarified. The MPS has different ways to try and understand its leadership capability across the whole force; it closes any gaps in skills with training and recruitment.
The MPS offers an extensive range of development opportunities to officers, some of which are aimed at those with the most talent and potential. It also attracts candidates through Direct Entry and Fast Track schemes. But no similar schemes are in place for police staff – although they can apply for the police officer Direct Entry schemes, and all police staff roles are open to Direct Entry candidates. Police staff feel that there are limited opportunities for them to develop their skills and to progress through the organisation.
The MPS responds well when it has identified that is has problems with its leaders and we found several high-profile examples where this is addressed. Officers and staff feel, however, that the force should deal with these problems earlier so that they do not become more serious.
The MPS has forged strong links with local academic institutions and industry to develop new ways of working. It is straightforward for its workforce to submit ideas to improve working practices. We found some examples of where it has implemented these initiatives. The force’s management board is made up of officers and staff from a range of background and skills as well as two recently-appointed non-executive advisors from the private sector.
Elsewhere, the MPS is developing diverse leadership teams, although its focus here is principally on ethnicity and gender rather than broader diversity issues such as the other protected characteristics. The MPS has made considerable progress in recruiting more black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) officers than ever before, in part due to its residency criteria which increase the pool of diverse candidates for constable recruitment. These criteria mean that those who are applying come from a smaller area geographically but, as would be expected, are more reflective of London. The force remains focused on continuing to increase numbers even further.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Metropolitan Police Service.